Devil in the Dark – Canada, 2017

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‘There’s no escape from this’

Devil in the Dark is a 2017 Canadian psychological horror thriller directed by Tim J. Brown (director of The Cradle; producer of Antisocial 2; Bite; Vampire Dog) from a screenplay by Carey Dickson.

The movie stars Robin Dunne (Torment; Species III; American Psycho 2), Dan Payne (R.L. Stine’s The Haunting Hour; The Cabin in the Woods), Daniel Cudmore (X-Men: Days of Future Past), and Briana Buckmaster (Supernatural).

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When estranged brothers Adam and Clint attempt to reconnect over a week-long hunting trip in remote Kelowna, British Columbia, they find the tables turned by a mysterious presence lurking in the forest.

Convinced that they are now besieged by a supernatural presence, the siblings begrudgingly agree on only one thing: they will have to put aside their differences and work together if they plan on making it out these dark woods alive…

Reviews [contain spoilers]:

“The movie is enjoyable. It’s not particularly terrifying, but there are some strong visuals that command respect, a couple solid performances and some excellent atmosphere down home stretch. Devil in the Dark definitely earns a recommendation from us!” Addicted to Horror Movies

Devil in the Dark had potential and isn’t a bad movie, but it mostly feels underdone and soft.  The movie goes for a gripping, tense ending, but it doesn’t feel gripping when the build-up isn’t up to the level it needs…it just makes you a bit angry that you don’t have the answers you want instead of the “jump” ending you hope for.” JP Roscoe, Basement Rejects

Devil in the Dark is still a feast for the eyes, and the visuals almost make up for the barebones story. Payne and Dunne are also great in their roles, but it’s a shame that the script doesn’t give them much to do. The ending could also have been handled better […] However, if you can look past these flaws, you’ll find a competent and atmospheric thriller…” Luiz H.C., Bloody Disgusting

“Elements from acting to cinematography are competent and capable, if unremarkable. The overall film just can’t win a recommendation without a solid shot of adrenaline to its atmosphere and that’s a needle that never comes.” Culture Crypt

“Awesome ending, well shot, some perfectly edited moments, good performance from Dan Payne. Nothing that really scared me, and I’m unsure if the way the story was presented with flashbacks was purposeful.” Mike Hassler, Destroy the Brain

“Dan Payne’s emotional performance and the boneyard lair of the creature are the centerpieces of the film; and once it becomes strictly a rescue mission, the momentum forged by the earlier character development keeps you invested. Although the creature’s limited screen time is disappointing at first, it’s forgiven if the “devil” is more metaphor than monster.” Drew Tinnin, Dread Central

“Yes, this is a horror film, but though a few supernatural scares do arise as the boys discover that something else resides on this mountain, and the hunters are being hunted, those sparse moments are shallow and fleeting, ultimately coming too little and too late to please fans of traditional genre beats.” Patrick Murphy, Goomba Stomp

“The best parts of the film were the lair of creatures and Dan Payne’s performance which was thrilling to watch. I was disappointed that the creature did not have much screen time. I gave this film a four because it was not what I expected and I thought it was branded under the wrong genre. There was not much horror in this movie…” Florita A., Hell Horror

“While Devil in the Dark is definitely a story about the always tortured bonds of family, then, I think it’s also about the “slow violence,” the lurking horror, of ecological damage. And maybe this fact explains some of the ways the narrative isn’t clear—the way that not everything is explained.” Dawn Keetley, Horror Homeroom

Devil has a strong sense of place (wild and woolly British Columbia) and the brothers’ convincingly dysfunctional relationship feels like it truly goes back years. It is impressively produced, but Brown never comes up with a concept (gimmick) to differentiate it from dozens of previous films. Recommended as a respectable horror fix for fans…” Joe Bendel, J.B. Spins

” …promising and creepy, and the two performers are excellent without over explaining things (Adam never even says whether he’s gay or not) … but the last reel, when things actually start happening, is a mix of shock action (a bad fall, a monster, a dragging-into-the-dark) and ominous Blair Witchery (a clearing decorated with way too many antlers) that really could use a tad more resolution.” The Kim Newman Web Site

“I enjoyed Devil in the Dark, slow pace and all. The film’s set pieces are creeptastic, and the story offers up enough spooks to satisfy any horror fan. Unfortunately, the film plays out like it wants to create a sequel, so a lot of the story is left unexplained, but hopefully the film does well enough to warrant another one.” Reviews from the Mind of Tatlock

Devil-in-the-Dark-2017-reviews

“Brown executes the buildup, conflict, and climax with a winning combination of restraint and payback […] Devil in the Dark doesn’t try to over-explain its mythology, nor does it serve up a last-act revelation that undoes its previous scares. For this, it stands out in an increasingly crowded market and delivers what too few movies do: a tangible, memorable boogeyman.” Teresa Nieman, Screen Anarchy

Devil in the Dark is a good-looking and genuinely affecting return for Brown, who hasn’t helmed a film since 2007’s The Cradle. Featuring truly, one of the scariest demon dens in film history, and some nice twists on classic tropes, this is a surprise from the opening chilling moments to a final shot that shifts everything about what you think is happening.” David Duprey, That Moment In

“With the most entertaining and memorable moments happening in the latter stages, you’re left feeling that the end of the film would have made a great start to the third act. Frustratingly it felt like the film had hits its stride just as it was ending. Although it is an accomplished film with many good qualities, it never quite flies in the way that it should.” Sinead Beverland, UK Horror Scene

Trivia:

The original title was The Plateau.

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Categories: 2017, Canadian, psychological horror

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2 replies

  1. The story lack concepts, like what happens to the 4 years adam and why adam was a victim. Who’s that entity and what was his role to capture adam. ending is again unclear in lack of whole unclear concepts.
    However, direction was strong. Actors need more improvement to make expressions that if they were really scared.

  2. looks bad todd

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